Literary journals highlight creativity on campus, opportunities for writers

Geneseo’s literary journals provide creative students with the chance to be published and to gain exposure. These opportunities range from club-organized publications to structured courses in publication and selection. Opus, MiNT Magazine and Gandy Dancer all afford students the chance to write creatively and to learn about the publishing process along the way. Opus

Run by Geneseo English Club, Opus publishes short stories, poems, artwork and photography by Geneseo students annually. Any Geneseo student can submit up to five pieces to be reviewed by members of the club, who read through and rank the submissions to determine the 50 or so pieces that will be printed in the magazine. Past issues are also available online.

As the publication is run by a club, participation is open to anyone on campus of any major. In the fall, Opus hosts group critiques of each other’s work. In the spring semester, members select the works for publication as they get it ready for final publication.

MiNT Magazine

What really distinguishes MiNT from other campus literary magazines, according to co-editor-in-chief junior Kathryn Bockino, “is that the magazine now accepts the widest range of submissions. Besides accepting literary work like poems, short stories, short screenplays, and artwork, we also accept critical essays,” Bockino added. With this range of accepted material in mind, Bockino also noted that MiNT could be better known on campus. “There is always someone each semester who will contact us and say that they’re a junior or senior, and only just heard about MiNT,” she said.

Gandy Dancer

For students interested in a more structured experience with literary magazines, Gandy Dancer offers that unique opportunity. Gandy Dancer is open to submissions from all 64 campuses across the State University of New York system. Staffed by Geneseo students and faculty, Gandy Dancer gives students in-class exposure to the world of publishing through the editing and production workshop. Students taking part in Gandy Dancer’s two levels are able to work with professors who act as guides in the process of creating the final magazine, available both online and in print.

Creative writing major and co-managing editor of Gandy Dancer senior Amy Bishop emphasized how much experience she has gained in her time with Gandy Dancer. “To say you’ve had your poetry, nonfiction, art, creative nonfiction published is great,” she said. “We have an ISBN number in the Library of Congress—we’re an established publication.”

Bishop—who has written for both MiNT and Opus in her time at Geneseo—spoke highly of both publications. She noted, however, that Gandy Dancer offers an experience that the others cannot.

“I think with Gandy Dancer, because it’s run out of a class, it tends to be a little more structured,” she said. “I know that the [executive] boards for MiNT and Opus work incredibly hard in selecting submissions, but with a professor looking over our shoulders, [Gandy Dancer is] a bit more selective just because of how it’s run.”

Bishop explained that she highly recommends Gandy Dancer to anyone interested in publishing creative material. “It’s a really fun class,” she said. “One of the best aspects is that the staff changes every semester, so you have totally different eyes looking at all this different work.”

Since its inception in 2012, Gandy Dancer has published once a semester.